Laughter: Well-Being Practice

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Practice Laughter as a Daily Element of Life

Simple Instructions:

  1. Find a way to make yourself laugh today until you are satisfied.
  2. There is no amount of time you have to laugh for, it just must be an authentic laughter experience by your estimation. If you say you did it, you did.
  3. Some suggestions: Watch videos that make you laugh (animals get me all the time), get together with people who you typically find funny, or laughter meditation.

Watch this video for an explanation of this Well-Being Practice from Whole Life Challenge co-founders Andy Petranek and Michael Stanwyck.

Why Is This Practice Important?

It’s a generally accepted belief (if you go by how people act) that life is supposed to be pretty serious. Look around you. How often are things funny in your day? We’re intentional about being pleasant, polite, or serious, but how often are we intentionally funny?

Funny usually happens by accident. And if you do something funny, someone might ask you, “Why did you do that?” You need a reason to be funny. No one asks you that question when you do the laundry. We’re so focused on getting “important” stuff done or being taken “seriously” that we don’t prioritize giving equal time to the natural laugh that life can be.

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But who says “serious” is the rule? Do you think that laughter or joy should be secondary? That it serves no “useful” purpose? Who says you can’t chuckle while you work, walk and giggle at the same time, snicker even while you bicker, or guffaw while you make coleslaw on a seesaw with your grandma?

Imagine how fun things could be if you saw the funny in even half of what you thought of as serious. (I heard someone wise say once, “If something is going to be funny in six months, it might as well be funny now.”)

(Re)learning to laugh, loosening up your ROTFL muscles, and questioning the seriousness with which you take things can be a great way to open yourself up to the possible presence of joy all through your life.

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.

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